For several years now, interest has been growing in the use of DNA testing for genealogical purposes. Both members and non-members of the Clan Scott Society have asked about its use and whether or not the Clan Scott Society participates in any such study. The short answer is no, the Clan Scott Society (as an organization) does not participate in any DNA research study. However, while the Clan Scott Society does not endorse any such company or any of its practices, the Genealogical Committee of the Clan Scott Society has compiled a list of several such companies to assist both our members and non-members alike.
The main purpose of these companies is to support genealogical research endeavors. As such, it is important to note that these companies do not share information with each other. If a person is tested by company A the results will only be compared to other results within company A's database. If a person also wishes that a comparison be made in company B's database then a new test will need to be completed by company B. Of course that also means that a new cost will be incurred by the person being tested.
In order to get the most for the money that is spent on a test, each person should look carefully at each company and the number of Scott surname tests that are contained within that companies’ database. The more tests that a company possesses for a surname, the higher the chance there is that you will find a connection to your own family. With that in mind, it would be most useful if all Clan Scott Society members and non-members chose the same company in order to build up a single large database. However, that of course is up to each individual person to decide upon for themselves.
The benefit of having a DNA test done is that it is possible to connect to other branches of your main line and discover unknown relatives who may have additional genealogical data that they can share. It can also tell you reasonably, but not conclusively, where in the world your ancestor likely originated from.
On the other hand, most tests trace only a few of your ancestors and a small portion of your DNA. What this means is that the test can only follow either your paternal line or maternal line. Everybody has four grandparents, but only two of their lines can be followed. Two of them cannot. Everybody has eight great-grandparents, but again only two lines will be followed. Seventy-five percent of your ancestry is already excluded from the DNA test just three generations removed from yourself.
Also, tests are unlikely to identify all of the groups or locations around the world where a test-taker's relatives are found. Meaning a person's relatives may have dispersed all over the globe as the Scots did in the mid-1700's. Will a DNA test tell a person that s/he had Scots who lived in Nova Scotia, or Jamaica, or India, or Egypt during the 1700's? Probably not. It will point to Scotland and little else unless you are fortunate enough to have a relative in one of those far off locations who has also submitted a DNA test to the same company.
Finally, nothing will ever replace the basics of genealogical research. That means getting into libraries and other locations where records are stored and putting in your research time.
Format Last Updated 13January2010 dms (c)2010 Clan Scott Society, Inc.